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View Full Version : The Aryan, and the Indus civilizations-What happened there. (spin-off)



ExNavyAmerican
15 Mar 07,, 09:39
This is a spin-off from another forum. We're here to discuss the possibilities surrounding the Aryan intrusion/assimilation/invasion of the Indus valley in world pre-history India. Not much is known of that time, and I was having a debate with Ray as well as gamercube about it on a thread that had nothing to do with it (it was basicly my fault :redface:)

For those of you who don't have a clue what I'm talking about visit the http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/united-states-politics/37687-60-years-faulty-logic-2.html thread.

Gamercube, Ray; We can also discuss the caste question.

Gamercube; What exactly are the new theories that you mentioned? :confused:

All people welcome to post. :)

joey2
15 Mar 07,, 10:10
^^ umm Let me say something,

1> Aryans are a part of Indus valley civilization, Aryans are a race while indus valley civilization "is" a civilization in the bank of river indus, "sapta sindhu", their mention of the "now dry" river "Saraswati" is what made them slowly move to the banks of "Ganges" and gradually Vedas became more refined and new more deeo philosophies such as "upanishads" chipped in.

Aryans existed beyond the indus valley civilization.

Coming back to South India, not much is known as it is in different language, but Contributions of the Dravidians in science and philosophy is "no less" compared to the harappan/indus valley civilization.

I hope I'm correct, correct me if I'm wrong.


Now if you want to bring Hinduism in it, I'll chip in and explain you the paradox of why there is certain differences in practise or some misconceptions about idol worship etc etc.

ExNavyAmerican
15 Mar 07,, 10:50
Aryans are a part of Indus valley civilization

that's exactly the part in contention here. I say that the Indus valley civilization was destroyed by the Aryans-I am under the impression that this is the historical fact-, and gamercube says that they were part of the civilization.

joey2
15 Mar 07,, 12:23
^^ umm nope it was not destroted by aryans there lies the fallacy, It was a vibrant civilization with its link to ancient Persia, Egypt .

The ancient Persian "Bem Riyadh" mentions about indus valley civilizations.

A part of the persian civilization was aryans as well.

Actually its not proven that exact Aryan system, but its proven no invasion happened.

The term Aryan is an appelation of the Sanskrit term `Arya'
used to denote respectable people in the classical period. However the
term `Arya' comes from the root `Ri' which means movement, hence Arya
means people who are moving forward, as in constantly evolving and
bettering themselves. The racial or tribal connotation comes from some
of MaxMuller students who took his linguistic grouping of languages a
bit too far. A set of languages called IE languages seem to have a
proto language Proto IE, which seems to have given rise to whole bunch
of languages. This is the premise of a single origin and then moving
around of the people who spoke that language and hence spread it.

I'll be better off Calling Indus valley civilization as a Civilization rather than term it with a heavily complex Race.

Anyways just to point out The south civilization is no less elite than Aryans,

Some recent discoveries in Uttar pradesh has found many pieces of harappan civilization.




There was no Aryan invasion theory - its false.
However my understanding is Aryans existed beyond the indus valley civilization as well say some parts of persia?

I might have been mixing things up, ray can clear me i guess.

Blademaster
15 Mar 07,, 12:29
ExNavyAmerican,

The Aryan Invasion Theory has been debunked by Indian historians and archeologists as myths or false. Maxwell's theories have been discredited by numerous recent archeological digs undertaken by the Indian Archeological Society (I am not exactly sure of the name). Google it and you will see many websites debunking the Aryan Invasion Theory. If I were you, I would visit :: Bharat-Rakshak.com - The Consortium of Indian Military Websites :: (http://www.bharat-rakshak.com) and go into the archives and look at the history folders.

roshan
15 Mar 07,, 13:24
First of all the very idea of an "indus valley civilization" has been debunked. The center of the civilization has now been discovered to be the now dried up Saraswati river which was the holiest river of the Rig Vedic Aryans. The river flowed parallel to the Indus, slightly to its east. The civilization which is now properly termed the Vedic civilization or the Indus-Saraswati civilization covered most of present Pakistan, the Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat states of India and even parts of Afghanistan, Uttar Pradesh and coastal Maharashtra. Mesopotamia and Egypt are just a fraction of this size.

Most historians no longer accept the theory of an Aryan invasion of India. Aryans are indigenous to India and the Indus-Saraswati civilization was founded by Aryans.

xerxes
15 Mar 07,, 15:34
I am not sure, the Aryan invasion were focused not only on the Indus valley and went beyound ... the word "Iran" itself means the "Land of Aryans" ... the Shah of Iran is commonly known as "Aryamehr"

Jay
15 Mar 07,, 18:55
There was no invasion, per se.

The Indus valley civilization, atleast Harappa and Mohanjadero and other cities on the banks of Indus were destroyed coz of the change in the course of river/food cultivation/over grazing etc.

People had to move along to a fresh pasture.

Kartajan
15 Mar 07,, 19:30
that's exactly the part in contention here. I say that the Indus valley civilization was destroyed by the Aryans-I am under the impression that this is the historical fact-, and gamercube says that they were part of the civilization.

Archeological and cultural evidence prove that Indus Valley Civilization was not destroyed by the Aryans - that much is historical fact. You can still see entire complex cities just standing there, being worn down by desert winds: No evidence of violent invasion, no expended projectiles, no skeletons on the streets, no looted houses. Cultural evidence includes shared dieties of both Indus River Civilization and "Aryan" Vedic Culture.

As to the assertion that the "Aryans" were part of the civilization? That is not (yet, atleast) a widely accepted as historic fact. Much more archeological study and linguistic research needs to be done to gather facts on one hand. On the other hand centuries of misrepresentations (either through commission or ommission) must be identified and deleted. If all of that can be done in a relatively depoliticized climate, maybe someone can make a reasonably accurate conjecture.

Archer
15 Mar 07,, 19:33
ExNavy,

This is the issue --

-There was no Aryan invasion. It was a load of crock invented by Max Mueller, a German evangelist who managed to gain employment with the Brit colonial administrators. His theory stemmed from a desire to link the German civilization to a race of fair skinned Aryans who spread civilization, and the desire to proselytize Christianity in India. His point was that Hinduism was not a rational construct but a cobbled together artifice which was adapted by the Indians from the Aryans theories. And that since the Aryans brought civilization to India, so were the British. And since the descendants of the Aryans had moved on to true belief, ie Christianity, so should the Indians
- This tied in well with the British focus on evangelical protestantism at the time, and they sponsored Mueller.
- His theory was picked up and widely disseminated, and a whole mythos became "history", but in lack of archaeological evidence, linguistic evidence was trotted out for "proof".

Today, the Aryan Invasion Theory stands heavily discredited.

-Its linguistic evidence has been torn to shreds- many of the words quoted as evidence have turned out to be out of context, or demonstrably false.
-The use of the word "Arya" as a sign of respect for instance, has been used out of context, to signify one was descended from Aryans! The poetic depiction of natural phenomena was used to represent features not in India. This has been rubbished by showing that the most ancient works of indian history, have consistently referred to terrain only within the subcontinent, no europe or persian features for instance
-The AIT remains popular among leftist historians, as they hate to consider any evidence utilizing local hindu scripture or the like, since it is deemed communal.
Besides, many have made their career and political name, by pushing a theory of local natives suppressed by upper caste outsiders- its hard to accept that they were idealogically driven and were in the wrong. Many names and reputations will be ruined.

The final nail in the coffin of the AIT was driven by a recent Italian delegation which did Genome mapping. They conclusively proved that North and south India have the same DNA markers, and that there is no Aryan vs dravidian divide


Coming to the caste system, it was formalized after the arrival of the British who sought to codify a highly diverse and unstructured jati system into a rigid social stratification. To this end, they identified communities which were loyal, martial and so on and so forth, and aided by some dubious leaps of logic (emphasis on looks for instance- a flat nose was inferior stock, an aquiline nose signified noble bearing etc etc) classified entire groups as upper caste, lower caste and so on and so forth. It bears remarking that the word caste comes from the portuegese casta, its not a local word. They also sought to find scripture that reflected what they believed in- ergo, the laws of Manu, a hoary old sage whose statements dont fall into, or are regarded as hindu scripture. But they became all powerful, and were widely referenced and quoted, not only externally when referring to hindus, but by hindus themselves who came to believe that it was important to follow his edicts. Today, its a different story- one can trace what is what, and disseminate ones opinion.

Coming to the varna, and jati system, these were based on ones local ethnicity, as well as social function, and most importantly job function- they were analogous to guilds in the european context. The system varied from rigid in some areas (with discrimination against the less powerful groups) to fairly open and free coexistence elsewhere. For instance, in one state, discovered records showed, that the so called upper castes (as catalogued in modern times) only consisted of a fifth of the school going population, and math and science was dominated by the lowest caste (in modern parlance). Chandragupta Maurya, the most powerful Indian emperor, who ruled the entire subcontinent, was from the lowest jati. In other words, jati was fluid, it varied and ebbed and rose- but the modern construct of the caste system, as applied over the past couple of centuries is another matter..

Another fact which greatly contributed to the primacy of jati and codified religious taboos was the arrival of Islam, with conversions by violence becoming common, both kshatriyas and brahmins went to extreme lengths to avoid the same. It became impossible for a person to move outside of his religion or break certain restrictions. Even here there were rises and falls- when the hindu kings of kashmir mounted their last defence against persistent raids, they baptised anyone who fought as an automatic kshatriya- automatically changing the jati of entire groups of people who all belonged to different jatis. When Shivaji mobilized the till then, mostly peasant, Marathas to take up soldiering, they were automatically granted deference, and many began calling themselves and were regarded as kshatriyas. In essence, jati in India has been a very fluid construct, it has gone through many variations, and it was never meant to be a single one type formula.

However, consider- in fifty years of indian independence, under a more liberal set of laws, and with a threat to civilization no longer extent, the hindu faith is gradually reverting to its more fluid form as was extent earlier. Inter jati marriages are on the rise, political power and economic power is being distributed, and laissez faire is extant. The problematic areas are in the rural areas, but with increasing education, and better economic standards, and urbanization, the modern caste construct divide is breaking down. Its a matter of time, another four-five decades, and the edifice of caste, as erected over the past few centuries will be greatly reduced.

Kartajan
15 Mar 07,, 19:55
Archer, simple archaeological evidence combined with some cultural references is sufficient and conclusive proof that there was no violent "invasion". Why bother with he-says/she-says? It will only bog you down in mind-numbing details, some of which no one can keep straight... a small slip in detail, and the whole argument is cast is a doubtful light.

gamercube
15 Mar 07,, 20:43
Gamercube; What exactly are the new theories that you mentioned?

It is called the Aryan Migration Theory, and according to it, the Aryans were a linguistically different people that came from beyond the Indus river (where exactly they came from is disputed, but most likely Iran), and settled in Northern India. It is now thought that the Indus Valley civilization declined not because wars with the Aryans, but because of the change in the course of rivers, flooding and so on. There are very good reasons to believe that the Aryans were not of Indian origin. Their language (Sanskrit) shares a lot of similarities with old Persian and the Vedas share many of the same terms that the Zend Avesta uses. It is part of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-Aryan languages.

The caste system started out as a division of labour and the membership to it was not based on skin colour. In fact, according to the earliest stories in Indian history, many rishis (sages) were of the warrior class, not the brahmin class, and one in particular, the great sage Valmiki was originally a low caste robber. It is true that later, the higher castes used the caste system to their advantage by discriminating against the lower castes. As some claim, this did not happen because of the British, but had taken place long before the British set foot on the subcontinent.

An ancient Indian text called Manusmriti, written around 2000 years ago, formalises the caste system and forbids movement between castes. (You have to realise, though, that Vedic civilization dates much farther back than that, to 1500 BC. So the caste system did not start out as being too rigid).

Jay
15 Mar 07,, 21:18
It is called the Aryan Migration Theory, and according to it, the Aryans were a linguistically different people that came from beyond the Indus river (where exactly they came from is disputed, but most likely Iran), and settled in Northern India.
There was no single migration, it happened continuously in waves. A lot of groups, tribes migrated and its not right to say its just Iran. It's as far as from Mesopotamia.

There are very good reasons to believe that the Aryans were not of Indian origin.
No one is Indian, all are migrants and migrated in to the sub-continent in different periods of time. Read about Spencer Wells Genome project.

Their language (Sanskrit) shares a lot of similarities with old Persian and the Vedas share many of the same terms that the Zend Avesta uses. It is part of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-Aryan languages.
Linguistics alone cannot differentiate Aryans as Persians.
Read here,
Bharat Rakshak Forum :: View topic - History of India (http://forums.bharat-rakshak.com/viewtopic.php?t=239)

Kartajan
16 Mar 07,, 15:21
Linguistics alone cannot differentiate Aryans as Persians.

Absolutely true: There is a reason why one branch is called "Indian" and another "Persian"... by the time nomads reached Fars and Indian subcontinent respectively they had already split in their political and religious traditions.

The people who became "Persians" opted for a top-down political system (which gave them disproportionate political influence {via various Persian-plateau based empires} compared to their relatively small numbers). The people who became "Indians" opted for a more loose confederated political system (which gave them a large cultural influence, but relatively small political influence proportional to very large numbers). There was also a large religious schism: each side condemned the others' gods as demons and vice versa (Devas vs. Asuras, Ahura vs. Devs). In fact that might well be the starting point of their very separation from whatever common point they started off (if atall there was a common-point to "start off", them being nomads and all...).